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Dept on vaccination drive

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The purpose of the routine vaccination was to help prevent outbreaks in areas where domestic animals have had anthrax before

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THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development’s Veterinary Services has vaccinated 6 372 livestock against Anthrax in Schmidtsdrift in the Pixley Ka Seme District.

Anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium Bacillus Anthrax. It can occur in four forms, namely skin, inhalation, intestinal and injection. The disease can be found naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals.

The department’s spokesperson, Phemelo Manankong, said yesterday that the two-week marathon vaccination was carried out in farms around the Schmidtsdrift area.

“More than 1 032 cattle, 3 653 goats and 1 687 sheep were vaccinated,” Manankong said.

He added that the purpose of the routine vaccination was to help prevent outbreaks in areas where domestic animals have had anthrax before.

“The Schmidtsdrift area was last hit by the outbreak in 2007. The campaign is part of

government’s ongoing efforts aimed at breaking the circle of infection. Proper disposal of carcasses is also necessary in contending the disease as part of precautionary measures.”

Manankong pointed out that currently there was no outbreak of the disease and the programme was merely routine vaccinations done by the department.

“The department also used the opportunity to tag 2 863 livestock as part Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) while 575 cattle were bled for Brucellosis.”